How do you thank a client? How do you develop customer relationships?
- Gift cards/certificates?
- Candy or fruit baskets?
- A gift for their child?
Several years ago I started thinking why clients hire me? And after long hard thought I started giving subscriptions to Mad Magazine as my thanks to clients for allowing me to work with their teams.
Yes, I read Mad Magazine. It’s really much more exciting than Time. And it consistently offends people. Seriously folks, in Europe there have been boobs on magazine covers for 20 years. The only boobs we see on magazine covers here in the U.S. are celebrity and political messes.
But here is what I have found out about that subscription to Mad:
- It’s like auto-pilot for relationship building/marketing. Every couple of months that magazine arrives and they think of me. I didn’t have to worry about staying in touch; putting something on my calendar; which we all know is hard given everything else we are trying to accomplish. Amazing how those relationship building items get dropped to the bottom of to-do lists.
- There is usually some article or funny parody in the current issue that relates to a client of mine. All of a sudden there is an email from me to them or them to me. We’ve got an exchange. We’re laughing. I’m learning more about what is going on in their business so I can continue to be a resource for them. I’m also on their radar. Because let’s face it; more often than not we are forgotten 30 seconds after we leave a client site.
- I believe that when a client hires you it is because they already feel a connection and they feel you are a good fit. Most clients hire people they can relate to. I’m not a candle person. My client probably is not either. My clients hire me because they are looking for a little fun with purpose. How do I keep giving them that after I walk out the door in addition to my newsletter and normal marketing ideas?
Now I’ve got Mad Magazine covered. (You can go give Time.) But the next time you’re thinking about client relationships and thank you gifts give it some deeper thought. Give them something they probably don’t ever receive; but something that will connect the two of you on another level. Take a short Recess with your staff today and come up with some relationship/thank you ideas that won’t require a lot of time later – and will be fun. The investment of time today will make your lives easier tomorrow.